Hidden in Plain Sight (The Hunger Project)

Elaine Tolsma Harlow's avatar Elaine Tolsma Harlow

This project is made up of 31 paintings of various sizes of bowls, 19 bowls with food inside and 13 bowls left empty. These paintings are in response to youth hunger that is so pervasive in our own backyard. Working with Plainwell Michigan's Starr Elementary (my hometown), I was shocked to learn that 43% of students that attend Starr receive free lunches. We fail to see what is right before our own eyes and the vast need that is at hand. I have taken 43% of the bowls and left them empty, not fulfilling their intended purpose. As a society, we can gloss over poverty and hunger but beyond first glance are empty bowls and bellies. I plan on donating 5% of money I make on sales of these paintings during ArtPrize to Plainwell's Good Hands Plainwell program, an organization that provides lunches for school children on the weekends.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2 inches
  • Medium: oil on canvas and board
  • Width: 12 feet
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 5 1/2 feet